But fibromyalgia can still be accurately diagnosed. The primary way doctors diagnose fibromyalgia is based on the symptoms you experience. Symptoms include having chronic pain throughout your joints and muscles, on both your left and right side, above and below the waist, for more than three months. Your doctor may test you for tender points on your neck, shoulder, chest, elbows, hip, and knees. He or she may also order tests to make sure you do not have other conditions that have similar symptoms.
A Answers (7)
Mehmet Oz, MD, Cardiology, answeredUnfortunately, there are no specific tests and procedures that diagnose fibromyalgia. People with fibro are often told they're the picture of health, and it may be true. You feel like you've been run over by a Mac truck, but your X-rays are crystal clear, your blood tests are squeaky clean, and you look great. That's because you can't see fibro on an X-ray or in lab results for blood tests.
But fibromyalgia can still be accurately diagnosed. The primary way doctors diagnose fibromyalgia is based on the symptoms you experience. Symptoms include having chronic pain throughout your joints and muscles, on both your left and right side, above and below the waist, for more than three months. Your doctor may test you for tender points on your neck, shoulder, chest, elbows, hip, and knees. He or she may also order tests to make sure you do not have other conditions that have similar symptoms.Helpful? 2 people found this helpful.
Michael Roizen, MD, Internal Medicine, answeredMany people go from doctor to doctor looking for a reason for their symptoms, since there are no definitive tests for the fibromyalgia. It may be difficult to make an accurate diagnosis if you cannot see a scientific measurement such as laboratory tests or X-rays. That is why so many people with fibromyalgia are misdiagnosed and ineffectively treated. Your doctor will order a few basic lab tests to make sure no other problems are present, but these tests are limited. For instance, X-rays of the painful areas will show no abnormality because the pain caused by fibromyalgia is in the soft tissues (muscles and tendons) which do not show up well on routine X-rays.Helpful? 1 person found this helpful.
Pfizer LYRICA™ (pregabalin) Team answeredThere are no specific tests that can be used to diagnose fibromyalgia. But there are guidelines for diagnosis. In 1990, the American College of Rheumatology published the following criteria:
- Widespread pain above and below the waist, on both the right and left sides of your body, and in the axial skeleton (your skull, spine, rib cage, and the bones in your throat and ears) for at least 3 months
- Tenderness or pain in 11 of the 18 “tender points” on your body
In 2010, the American College of Rheumatology published a new set of preliminary guidelines. These guidelines include a widespread pain index that assesses the number of painful body regions, and a scale that assesses the severity of symptoms such as fatigue, sleep problems, comprehension problems, and others in the body.
By using one or both of these sets of guidelines, along with tests to rule out other conditions, it is possible for your doctor to make a fibromyalgia diagnosis. So if you think you may have fibromyalgia, talk to your doctor about what steps you can take toward an accurate diagnosis.
If you are experiencing chronic widespread pain and tenderness and are diagnosed with fibromyalgia, talk to your doctor about your treatment options. Prescription treatment, such as LYRICA, is one option you and your doctor may consider to help relieve fibromyalgia pain. In clinical studies, LYRICA was proven to provide significant relief from fibromyalgia pain compared with a placebo, so patients felt better and could do more.*
*Individual results may vary.
This answer is sponsored by Pfizer. Any other answer is the responsibility of the party posting it. Any product information provided is intended only for residents of the U.S. Products may have different labeling in different countries.Please scroll for LYRICA™ indication.
Important Safety Information (ISI)
LYRICA is not for everyone. LYRICA may cause serious, even life threatening, allergic reactions. Stop taking LYRICA and call your doctor right away if you have any signs of a serious allergic reaction. Some signs are swelling of your face, mouth, lips, gums, tongue, throat or neck, or if you have any trouble breathing, or have a rash, hives or blisters.
Drugs used to treat seizures increase the risk of suicidal thoughts or behavior. LYRICA may cause suicidal thoughts or actions in a very small number of people, about 1 in 500. Patients, family members or caregivers should call the doctor right away if they notice suicidal thoughts or actions, thoughts of self harm, or any unusual changes in mood or behavior. These changes may include new or worsening depression, anxiety, restlessness, trouble sleeping, panic attacks, anger, irritability, agitation, aggression, dangerous impulses or violence, or extreme increases in activity or talking. If you have suicidal thoughts or actions, do not stop LYRICA without first talking to your doctor.
LYRICA may cause swelling of your hands, legs and feet, which can be serious for people with heart problems. LYRICA may cause dizziness and sleepiness. You should not drive or work with machines until you know how LYRICA affects you. Also, tell your doctor right away about muscle pain or problems along with feeling sick and feverish, or any changes in your eyesight including blurry vision, or if you have any kidney problems or get dialysis.
Some of the most common side effects of LYRICA are dizziness, blurry vision, weight gain, sleepiness, trouble concentrating, swelling of your hands and feet, dry mouth, and feeling “high.” If you have diabetes, tell your doctor about any skin sores.
You may have a higher chance for swelling and hives if you are also taking angiotensin converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors so tell your doctor if you are taking these medications. You may have a higher chance of swelling of your hands or feet or gaining weight if you are also taking certain diabetes medicines. Do not drink alcohol while on LYRICA. You may have a higher chance for dizziness and sleepiness if you take LYRICA with alcohol, narcotic pain medicines, or medicines for anxiety.
Before you start LYRICA, tell your doctor if you are planning to father a child, or if you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or are breast-feeding. If you have had a drug or alcohol problem, you may be more likely to misuse LYRICA.
In studies, a specific type of blood vessel tumor was seen in mice, but not in rats. The meaning of these findings in humans is not known.
Do not stop taking LYRICA without talking to your doctor. If you stop suddenly you may have headaches, nausea, diarrhea, trouble sleeping, increased sweating, or you may feel anxious. If you have epilepsy, you may have seizures more often.
LYRICA is indicated to treat fibromyalgia, diabetic nerve pain, spinal cord injury nerve pain, and pain after shingles. LYRICA is also indicated to treat partial onset seizures in adults with epilepsy who take 1 or more drugs for seizures.
Piedmont Heart Institute answered
Fibromyalgia is a clinical diagnosis. There is no test to diagnose this syndrome. It is a constellation of findings which include widespread pain for at least three months and symptoms like fatigue and thinking problems.
Dawn Marcus, Neurology, answeredBefore your doctor can diagnose fibromyalgia, you will undergo a thorough evaluation that includes your medical history and current symptoms, and a physical examination. Blood tests are often needed, as well as X-rays and other radiology tests.
Typical blood tests for people with widespread pain and other symptoms include:
- Complete blood count
- Tests for inflammation, such as an erythrocyte sedimentation rate or C-reactive protein
- Creatinine kinase
- Blood calcium and vitamin D tests
- Thyroid hormone tests
Find out more about this book:The Woman's Fibromyalgia Toolkit: Manage Your Symptoms and Take Control of Your Life
There are no lab tests or imaging tests that can diagnose fibromyalgia. However, your doctor may run tests to look for, and rule out, conditions such as low blood counts or thyroid disorders that may have similar symptoms to fibromyalgia. Your doctor may have you fill out a questionnaire, such as the Fibromyalgia Impact Questionnaire, or the Health Assessment Questionnaire to better determine what symptoms you are experiencing. With fibromyalgia, people tend to have points on their body that are particularly sensitive to pain. Typically, four or more of these points make the diagnosis of fibromyalgia more likely. Your doctor can determine if you are more likely to have fibromyalgia by conducting a physical exam, and documenting whether you have any points of pain or tenderness.
Jacob Teitelbaum, Integrative Medicine, answeredTesting is useful to determine what is causing the fibromyalgia, but not for diagnosis. The diagnosis is made by having a mix of symptoms such as widespread pain, insomnia, and "brain fog".